Sunday, March 27, 2011

Suicide of Media Worker, Suo Motu Notice, Contempt of Court & PCO Judges.

Similarly, the apex court had also taken notice, though not on contempt grounds, of a statement last year of then information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira urging Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take suo motu notice of a newspaper report that claimed that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had a secret meeting with the chief justice. On Oct 2 last year, the Supreme Court, in a rare statement, had warned political leaders against impugning the impartiality of judges while commenting on court judgments and advised them to avoid unwarranted and uncalled for comments. The statement was issued after the court took notice of a controversial statement attributed to then labour and manpower minister Khurshid Ahmed Shah but cancelled by the government’s press information department. Some superior court judges are also facing contempt charges for taking oath under the Provisional Constitution Order of Nov 3, 2007, issued by then president Pervez Musharraf. REFERENCE: Two PPP leaders issued contempt notices by SC By Nasir Iqbal | From the Newspaper (14 hours ago) Today

Apna Gareban - Media Owners Exposed As Media Worker Commits Suicide -- Ep 09 -- Part 1/5


A young media worker committed suicide in Lahore about two years ago due to non-payment of salary for five months. Mohammad Azam was just one of the many media workers across Pakistan who have to regularly face this problem. In this episode of Apna Gareban, Matiullah Jan discusses the issue of delayed salaries in media organizations, and exposes the names and pictures of those media tycoons who deprive their hard working employees of their due right. Guests: Nasir Hussain Haidery (Chairman, ITNE),Pervez Shaukat (President, PFUJ) and Rana Azeem (Chief Reporter, Khabrein Group / President PUJ). Courtesy: DAWN NEWS PAKISTAN


While journalists lack resources to fight cases in courts or protect their members from being illegally sacked or pressured by owners in media organizations, the owners cartel, the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), whose prime object is to protect economic interests of media tycoons, and which gets subscriptions from owners in millions, has filed cases in various courts, challenging the law itself, its vires, or the operation of tribunal. Under such circumstances, the Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper Employees constituted under the Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1973, failed to prove effective under the circumstances. The Sindh High Court is hearing newspaper owners’ petitions for the last nine years without any judgment in any case and has held the implementation of the 7th Wage Award in abeyance, although journalists believe that justice delayed is justice denied. Due to machinations of the powerful and influential group of newspapers owners, which is known to be the mightiest pressure mafia of Pakistan, journalists are appearing in court cases although they have lost hope for justice. They have not enough resources to challenge owners’ maneuvers in courts of law with same force, although the PFUJ and the concerned UJs are doing their level best and appearing in courts regularly.

The owners’ cartel, the APNS, has succeeded in thwarting and defeating pronouncements of Chief Justice of Pakistan, and succeeded in keeping the implementation of the 7th Wage Board Award in abeyance by maneuvering to get a restraint order from the Singh High Court through clever tactics. The owners’ mafia is so strong that no person or agency can dare probe, check, or inspect working conditions prevailing in media houses, as per prevailing laws. The owners’ mafia is the most privileged class of Pakistan as they enjoy exceptional and preferential concessions in terms of taxes, duties, levies and sanctions, by virtue of the media power commanded by them.

As a consequence to these circumstances, the media persons are forced to work on the 14-year-old wages and fringe benefits fixed under the 6th Wage Award as on July 1, 1996, whereas there has been tremendous increase in the salaries and allowances of employees of other departments since then, but poor press workers and journalists have been deprived of these benefits. Some major newspaper groups who had earlier increased salaries of journalists under the head of ex gratia as per market dynamics on the recommendations of their editors (because most of journalists were leaving those organizations in search of better pay packages), are bent up to deduct that amount being paid under ex gratia as soon as decision of the seventh wage award is announced. They are seeking undertakings from journalists that the amount would be adjusted, and recently the Dawn Media Group adjusted an amount of Rs. 67,000 against the payment made in the salary of each worker on the head of ex gratia after a petty agreement with the Dawn Union. The management had to pay this amount as it was payable since 1994 at the rate of Rs.300 per month in view of judgment of Faisalabad Compensation Court in the case of Shamsul Islam Naz vs Dawn Group of Newspapers.


On the other hand, journalists and workers in newspaper organizations are working in great stress and are being denied promotions, move-overs, and their other lawful dues by the managements. Some major organizations, including Dawn, Jang, Nawa-i-Waqt, Daily Times, have introduced contract system of hiring and have been indulging in recruitment on contract for six moths to two years or they have re-hired some senior journalists after their retirement, but are not extending any other benefits including medical, leaves, overtime, night allowance, five per cent, cost of living allowance, etc., but have mentioned their posts as “Consultant”. Although they are doing journalistic work, they are not being mentioned as editors, assistance editors etc. They are being denied medical facilities, unlike other regular employees.


At least 600 media workers have been sacked from various channels and newspapers during the period under review, only to save their salaries while their share of responsibilities is shifted on the remaining employees who are subjected to over-work on the same wages, because no institution in Pakistan is strong enough to curb the activities of the said mafia. REFERENCE: PFUJ termed the 2009-2010 as a worst period for Pakistani Media persons December 19th, 2010 suhail123 TV Channels SACKED 350 Journalists
Apna Gareban - Media Owners Exposed As Media Worker Commits Suicide -- Ep 09 -- Part 2/5


A young media worker committed suicide in Lahore about two years ago due to non-payment of salary for five months. Mohammad Azam was just one of the many media workers across Pakistan who have to regularly face this problem. In this episode of Apna Gareban, Matiullah Jan discusses the issue of delayed salaries in media organizations, and exposes the names and pictures of those media tycoons who deprive their hard working employees of their due right. Guests: Nasir Hussain Haidery (Chairman, ITNE),Pervez Shaukat (President, PFUJ) and Rana Azeem (Chief Reporter, Khabrein Group / President PUJ). Courtesy: DAWN NEWS PAKISTAN An additional district and sessions judge on Wednesday directed the chief executive and editor-in-chief of the Khabrain Group of newspapers, Zia Shahid, to pay Rs 100 million to a petitioner for levelling baseless allegations against him in news reports. Former group legal adviser and prominent lawyer Azam Sultan Suharwardi had earlier filed a defamation suit against Shahid. The judge also directed Shahid to publish an apology in favour of the plaintiff in his newspaper. Suharwardi had submitted in the suit that he had been performing as a legal advisor for the group. He said in July 2009, differences developed between him and Shahid, after which he was sacked. “After sacking me, Zia Shahid started a campaign against me through publishing false news in his papers. The news items leveled totally baseless accusations against me, which not only damaged my repute but caused considerable mental anguish,” the petitioner said. The plaintiff said that Zia Shahid also pressured him to withdraw the cases, filed in the Lahore High Court. “When I did not bow to his pressure, he initiated the defamatory campaign against me, which damaged my repute,” the petitioner said. He then directed the court to order Shahid to apologise for publishing the news, and pay compensation to him. The court then ordered Shahid to pay the damages and issue an apology. staff report. REFERENCE: Zia Shahid ordered to pay Rs 100m in defamation suit Thursday, September 09, 2010\09\09\story_9-9-2010_pg7_23 

By Dr Riaz Ahmed Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan [Courtesy - South Asia Citizen Web since 1996]

A major impact of privatisation is downsizing and wage reduction. In a month when government claimed it has amassed Rs 22 billion from privatization of the largest bank, divested largest mutual fund, dis-invested shares of the second largest fertilizer company amongst 11 others getting proceeds worth 20% more than the last year it is no surprise that the billion dollar newspaper owners of Pakistan are calling for a repeal of a law passed in 1973 that enforces minimum wages in the private newspaper industry. What do media barons want to achieve from their recent campaign when the 7th Wage Award will only effect 5% of the total newspaper employees? The answer stems from the recent liberalization measures that have gone unresisted. Newspaper owners wish to seize on a golden opportunity to wipe away the remnants of nationalization of the 1970s. They hope that like the nearly un-resisted privatization amid bomb blasts, mass murders at mosques and the Wana Operation the only resisters to change could be Al Qaeeda.

Hence the blatant and provocative sacking of the President of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists in late April and in mid June the Joint Secretary of KUJ was sacked just to send reminders to activist amongst the 5% permanent news-workers throughout Pakistan that they dare not resist the re-privatization of wages. And the owners are not up against that many. Recently a survey of 18 newspapers and two agencies by Karachi Union of Journalists revealed that "only 152 journalists mostly from DAWN, Jang, APP, Business Recorder, and Daily Times have permanent jobs." The survey reports that temporary workers, making 75% of total workforce, will not benefit from the award and will continue to work without formal appointment letters on illegal contract basis without job security. Owners are confident hat they will be successful in getting public support for their wage-control measures through a massive advertisement campaign that equates a mere 50% wage rise in 5 years against freedom of the press. They say the wage award will force newspapers to close down even though only four newspapers implemented the 6th Wage Award the last time it was awarded eight years ago. Newspaper employees throughout Pakistan are agitating for the implementation of the 7th Wage Board award. Since the third week of June daily protests are reported (on the internet and foreign media only) from Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and recently in Karachi.

The Wage Board Award, headed by a Supreme Court Judge, fixes wages for the journalists and newspaper workers after every four years. The 7th Wage Award provides for an average increase of 50% in pay with corresponding increase in general transport allowance; night transport allowance; local transport; outfit allowance; uniform allowance; charge allowance; piece-rated wages; hill allowance; house rent allowance; and computer allowance. Taking the rise in cost of living 50% after 5 years is still less than the inflation. The KUJ survey reports that "majority of the journalists are receiving salaries from Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000, but no medical or insurance facilities". 7th Wage Award was announced in October 2001. The newspaper owners are bound by the Wage Board decision as stipulated by the Newspapers Employers 1973 as representatives of both employers and employees unanimously agreed upon the Seventh Wage Board decision. But employers took to courts. Despite court verdicts newspapers refused blatantly to implement them even though the government twice revised the official advertisement rates for the newspapers to appease the owners in the same period, argues a leading activist. This means that newspaper employees are still receiving the wages decided by Sixth Wage Board eight years ago.

The recent spate of agitation was sparked by the newspaper owners themselves. A massive publicity campaign was launched in the second week of June by the All Pakistan Newspaper Society calling on the President to repeal Newspaper Employees Act 1973. Daily quarter page size advertisements are published in newspapers of member organizations by the owners rejecting the 7th Wage Award saying that owners will have to pay Rs 200 crore in five years to the employees an amount that will force closure of papers. PFUJ, the main force behind the agitation, has termed the advertisements as pack of lies aimed at blackmailing the government. REFERENCE: The Dawn Media Group & Insecure Jobs of Journalists  The day I got fired from Dunya News by Sadaf Khan A broadcast journalist based in Islamabad who was formerly associated with Geo News and Dunya News. She blogs at MORE IN: Unethical Behavior of Express News TV Pakistan. 

Apna Gareban - Media Owners Exposed As Media Worker Commits Suicide -- Ep 09 -- Part 3/5


A young media worker committed suicide in Lahore about two years ago due to non-payment of salary for five months. Mohammad Azam was just one of the many media workers across Pakistan who have to regularly face this problem. In this episode of Apna Gareban, Matiullah Jan discusses the issue of delayed salaries in media organizations, and exposes the names and pictures of those media tycoons who deprive their hard working employees of their due right. Guests: Nasir Hussain Haidery (Chairman, ITNE),Pervez Shaukat (President, PFUJ) and Rana Azeem (Chief Reporter, Khabrein Group / President PUJ). Courtesy: DAWN NEWS PAKISTAN

Massive retrenchments in media organizations journalists boycott National Assembly session. [ALSO APPEARED IN Business Recorder Date:1/14/2009]

ISLAMABAD: Journalists covering the National Assembly (NA) session on Tuesday staged a token walk out and boycott the proceeding against firing of journalists by some newspaper and TV channels. Soon after the recitation from the Holy Quran, the journalists walked out from the press gallery and gathered at the press lounge to protest, what they said, the inhuman attitude of some of the media groups. Information Minister Sherry Rehman, State Minister for Education Ghulam Farid and PML-N lawmaker Hanif Abbasi came to the press lounge and persuaded the protesting journalists to end their boycott, assuring them that government would fulfill their demands. Journalists said that the owners of some newspapers and news channels are firing their employees without giving their dues and some of them are not paying salaries for the last many months.

They demanded of the government to ensure implementation of resolutions passed by the NA for protection of working journalists. They also demanded to implement 7th Wage Board Award, pending for the last many years. Sherry asked the journalists to give her the detailed information about their complaints and assured them to contact the concerned owners to stop firing of journalists and resolving of other issues. She, however, said that the owners are also excusing that due to financial crunch they are laying off some staff. Later, she informed the House that the present government is pursuing a liberal media policy. She said that a meeting of the tri-lateral commission was held recently to consider issues relating to Wage Board Award and end-February was given a dateline for implementation of 7th Wage Board Award. About the suspension of a TV channel's transmission, she said the channel was allowed test transmission without license provisionally but the channel neither applied for license not deposited the requisite fee. Sherry said under the regulatory framework, government could not allow channels without payment of license fee. Hanif Abbasi, PML-N lawmaker said that Governor Punjab Salman Taseer had terminated a number of employees from his TV channels and newspapers. The Dawn Media Group & 7th Wage Board Award 

Apna Gareban - Media Owners Exposed As Media Worker Commits Suicide -- Ep 09 -- Part 4/5


A young media worker committed suicide in Lahore about two years ago due to non-payment of salary for five months. Mohammad Azam was just one of the many media workers across Pakistan who have to regularly face this problem. In this episode of Apna Gareban, Matiullah Jan discusses the issue of delayed salaries in media organizations, and exposes the names and pictures of those media tycoons who deprive their hard working employees of their due right. Guests: Nasir Hussain Haidery (Chairman, ITNE),Pervez Shaukat (President, PFUJ) and Rana Azeem (Chief Reporter, Khabrein Group / President PUJ). Courtesy: DAWN NEWS PAKISTAN


[Musharraf-Iftikhar.jpg]Chaudhry Iftikhar named new CJ [Daily Dawn 2005] By Our Staff Reporter ISLAMABAD, May 7: President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday appointed Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court, as the next chief justice. He will assume the office on June 30 after retirement of the incumbent Chief Justice, Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui, on June 29. “The notification has ended speculations of appointment of a junior judge as chief justice in violation of the seniority principle settled under the 1996 Judges case,” commented a senior Supreme Court lawyer on condition of anonymity. Justice Chaudhry will reach the superannuation age of 65 years in 2012, which will make him one of the longest serving chief justices in the judicial history of Pakistan. He will serve as chief justice for over seven years. Earlier Justice A. R. Cornelius and Justice Mohammad Haleem served as chief justice for eight years from 1960 to 68 and 1981 to 89, respectively. Justice Chaudhry was elevated as a judge of the apex court on February 4, 2000. He has performed as acting chief justice from January 17 to 29, 2005. He holds the degree of LLB and started practice as an advocate in 1974. Later he was enrolled as an advocate of high court in 1976 and as an advocate of Supreme Court in 1985. In 1989, Justice Chaudhry was appointed as advocate-general of Balochistan and elevated to the post of additional judge in the Balochistan High Court in 1990. He also served as banking judge, judge of Special Court for Speedy Trials and Customs Appellate Courts as well as company judge. He served as the chief justice of the Balochistan High Court from April 22, 1999 to February 4, 2000. He was elected the president of the High Court Bar Association, Quetta, and twice a member of the Bar Council. He was appointed as the chairman of the Balochistan Local Council Election Authority in 1992 and for a second term in 1998. Justice Chaudhry also worked as the chairman of the Provincial Review Board for Balochistan and was appointed twice as the chairman of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Balochistan. Presently he is functioning as the chairman of the Enrolment Committee of the Pakistan Bar Council and Supreme Court Buildings Committee. Reference: Caudhry Iftikhar named new CJ By Our Staff Reporter May 8, 2005 Sunday Rabi-ul-Awwal 28, 1426 

Jang Group & GEO TV misguide & malign JUDICIARY (Column Kaar 16 October 2010)

URL:, Jan 26: The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, and five of his colleagues on Wednesday refused to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order promulgated by the chief executive on Oct 14, 1999. As a result, the six judges ceased to be the judges of the apex court. Justice Irshad Hasan Khan, a senior judge of the Supreme Court, took oath as new Chief Justice under the PCO. Those who refused to take oath, besides Justice Saeeduzzaman, were: Justice Mamoon Kazi, Justice Khalilur Rehman, Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid, Justice Wajihuddin Ahmad and Justice Kamal Mansur Alam. Apart from the six judges of the Supreme Court, nine judges of the four high courts also lost their jobs as they were not invited to take oath under the PCO. The judges of the apex court who took oath under the PCO are Justice Irshad Hasan Khan, Justice Mohammad Bashir Jehangiri, Justice Sheikh Ijaz Nisar, Justice Abdur Rehman Khan, Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad, Justice Mohammad Arif and Justice Munir A. Sheikh. Out of the SC's six judges who refused to take oath, five belong to Sindh and one from Punjab. Out of the sitting seven judges of the apex court, five are from Punjab and two from the NWFP.

Jang Group & GEO TV VS Lawyers & Lawyers Movement - 1 (Aaj TV 15 Feb 2011)


Notably, three out of the SC's six judges who refused to take oath were appointed judges to the high courts at a time when a PCO was enforced in the country by another military ruler, Gen Ziaul Haq. They were: Justice Saeeduzzaman, Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid, and Justice Khalilur Rehman Khan. Justice Saeeduzzaman told newsmen at his official residence on Wednesday that when he was contacted on Tuesday night by the authorities he made it clear that he would not take fresh oath under the PCO. He said what he did had been done in accordance with his conscience, adding that the rest of his (five) colleagues had made independent decisions.

The judges of the Federal Shariat Court also took oath under the PCO. Justice Fazal Ellahi Khan, who was recently appointed Chief Justice of the FSC, took fresh oath of office with Justice Fida Mohammad Khan, Justice Mohammad Khiyar and Justice Chaudhry Mohammad Yousuf. Two judges of the FSC were not present in Islamabad on Wednesday and they would take oath under the PCO in a few days. The fresh oath came as a surprise to many as Justice Saeeduzzaman had repeatedly said that the Constitution was intact even after the military takeover and that the judges of the superior court were not required to take fresh oath. On Tuesday, Justice Saeeduzzman had constituted the full court bench to hear the petitions challenging the military takeover. The case was scheduled to be heard on Jan 31. Sources close to the legal experts of the government said that everything was going "smoothly" till a few days back when a petition, sponsored by the PML, was filed in the SC. The petition asked the apex court to proceed against Gen Pervez Musharraf under the High Treason Act for the military takeover. The petition was entertained by the SC office. Irshad new CJ: Saeed, five others refuse to take oath Rafaqat Ali Dawn Wire Service Week Ending : 29 January 2000 Issue : 06/05
Jang Group & GEO TV VS Lawyers & Lawyers Movement - 2 (Aaj TV 15 Feb 2011)

URL:, June 27: The Lahore High Court summarily dismissed three writ petitions challenging the assumption of the President's office by Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf. The petitions were filed by Advocates MD Tahir, Amir Sohail and Hanif Tahir. The first-mentioned two argued at some length while the last-mentioned told Justice Khalilur Rahman Ramday, who heard the petitions, that he had reservations about him on account of his pro-government sympathies but would, instead of seeking transfer, leave the matter to his conscience. Advocate MD Tahir said frequent military interventions, prompted by politicians and invariably condoned and validated by the judiciary, have greatly damaged Pakistan in all spheres of life. Advocate Amir Sohail submitted that the Supreme Court recognized Gen Pervez Musharraf as chief executive for three years and his elevation to the office of President was repugnant to the SC judgment in Zafar Ali Shah's case. Under the judgment and the provisional constitution order validated by it the country is to be governed as nearly as possible in accordance with the provisions of the 1973 Constitution. Mr Rafiq Tarar could not have been removed except by impeachment. Justice Ramday observed that the 1973 Constitution was in existence by virtue of the PCO as amended from time to time and dismissed the three petitions. REFERENCE: LHC rejects pleas against Musharraf's presidency Staff Reporter DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 30 June 2001 Issue : 07/26

SCBA against reappointment of adhoc judges (Express Tribune)

URL:, Feb 2: The government elevated five judges to the Supreme Court on Wednesday. According to a notification, the president has appointed Justice Rashid Aziz, Chief Justice, Lahore High Court; Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui, Chief Justice Sindh High Court; Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Chief Justice, Balochistan High Court; Qazi Farooq, former chief justice of Peshawar High Court; and Justice Rana Bhagwan Das, judge, Sindh High Court, judges of the Supreme Court. After the elevation of Justice Rashid Aziz Khan to the SC, Justice Mohammad Allah Nawaz has been appointed Chief Justice of Lahore High Court. Justice Deedar Hussain Shah has been appointed Chief Justice of Sindh High Court and Justice Javed Iqbal Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court. After these appointments, the number of SC judges has risen to 12, leaving five posts vacant. REFERENCE: Five judges elevated to SC Bureau Report DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 5 February 2000 Issue : 06/05

Apna Gareban - Media Owners Exposed As Media Worker Commits Suicide -- Ep 09 -- Part 5/5


A young media worker committed suicide in Lahore about two years ago due to non-payment of salary for five months. Mohammad Azam was just one of the many media workers across Pakistan who have to regularly face this problem. In this episode of Apna Gareban, Matiullah Jan discusses the issue of delayed salaries in media organizations, and exposes the names and pictures of those media tycoons who deprive their hard working employees of their due right. Guests: Nasir Hussain Haidery (Chairman, ITNE),Pervez Shaukat (President, PFUJ) and Rana Azeem (Chief Reporter, Khabrein Group / President PUJ). Courtesy: DAWN NEWS PAKISTAN, June 20: The Chief Executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, assumed the office of President with a pledge that elections would be held in the country by Oct 2002 as directed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Talking to journalists after being administered the oath of office by the Chief Justice, Irshad Hasan Khan, at the Aiwan-i-Sadar, President Gen Pervez Musharraf said he had assumed the office of the president in the "supreme national interest." The oath-taking ceremony was attended by cabinet members, provincial governors, corps commanders, services chiefs and the diplomatic community. An official announcement made earlier in the day said that Mr Rafiq Tarar had ceased to hold the office of the president with immediate effect. This followed the dissolution of the suspended parliament including the Senate, the National Assembly and the four provincial assemblies.

Judges VS Lawyers - Part - 1 (Dunya TV 17th Feb 2011)


Two amendments have been made in the Provisional Constitutional Order to effect the removal of Rafiq Tarar and induction of Gen Musharraf as the president. A proclamation order was read out after the oath-taking ceremony of the President which said: "General Pervez Musharraf has entered upon the office of the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan under the President's Succession Order 2001. Therefore, let it be known to all and sundry that General Pervez Musharraf took oath of office as President and assumed the office of the President of Pakistan." After the ceremony, Gen Musharraf told reporters that his decision to take over as the president was led by constitutional, political and economicconsiderations. He, however, made it clear that general elections would be held by October next year as was directed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

"I feel in all humility that if I have a role to play for this nation I will not hesitate whatever decisions are involved. I hold national interests supreme. I personally think with all sincerity and honesty that I have a role to play in this nation. I have a job to do here and therefore I cannot and will not let the nation down," said the new President who continues to be the Chief Executive and the Army Chief. He said he had taken over as the President of Pakistan through an amendment to a clause of the PCO of Oct 14, 1999, which allowed continuity of the ex-president of Pakistan. "I have been thinking of this change for some months. This has been one of the most difficult decisions that I have taken. It was difficult because it involved myself, doing something which I have never done in my life.

Judges VS Lawyers - Part - 2 (Dunya TV 17th Feb 2011)


In my entire career I have never done anything for myself. God has been kind and continues to be kind to me. I bow my head before Him for all the bounties that He has showered on me. I will bow in more humility as I rise," he said. As far as the political process is concerned, he said, there was no change whatsoever. "Let there be no doubt that there is no change in our intentions for the future". He said the Supreme Court ruling directing the government to hold elections by October 2002 was very clear. "We will abide by that". Local government elections up to district level would be completed by August 14. Provincial and national elections would be held on schedule next year, he added. Political activity would continue as before, he assured. "I think I must tell you why I decided to take over as the president of Pakistan," he said, adding that the first consideration was constitutional. As the assemblies, according to the PCO of Oct 14, 1999, were suspended there was a degree of uncertainty whether these assemblies were being restored or not.

Then the Supreme Court judgment which validated the action of suspending the assemblies made it easier for me to decide about the dissolution of assemblies. "With the dissolution of the assemblies, the office of the President who was elected by these assemblies, became untenable." He said the second consideration was political consideration. He said his major concern for Pakistan was political stability and harmony. "I have been saying that I would like to place appropriate checks and balances on superstructure of the political environment. I will ensure and guarantee the continuity and sustainability of all the reforms and restructuring that my government is doing. I will ensure that national interest will remain supreme over personal and political interest." President Musharraf said the third consideration was economic consideration where the entire business community and foreign investors were waiting and asking for proof of continuity and sustainability of all the reforms that the government was now undertaking. "I thought I can give this proof and also help improve the economic environment of Pakistan, if I undertake this change. It was basically the constitutional issue, political and economic considerations which led me to this decision and above all this decision has been taken in the supreme national interest," he said. REFERENCE: Takeover in 'national interest': Assemblies, Senate dissolved By Ihtashamul Haque DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 23 June 2001 Issue : 07/25, June 20: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf elevated himself as the President of Pakistan for an indefinite period through a Succession Order 2001 here on Wednesday. "The Chief Executive shall hold office as President until his successor enters upon his office," the CE Order No 3 of 2001, called as Succession Order 2001, said. The Supreme Court in its judgement validating the military takeover, had ruled that general elections should be held before the October 12, 2002. The CE Order further states: "Upon the office of the President becoming vacant for any reason whatsoever, the Chief Executive of Pakistan shall be the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and shall perform all functions assigned to the President by or under any law." General Ziaul Haq had fixed a five-year period for himself as the president of Pakistan.

The Order No 2 of 2001 issued by the Chief Executive stated that the "person" holding the office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, immediately before the commencement of the Proclamation of Emergency (Amendment) Order 2001, shall "cease" to hold the office. For dissolving the parliament and provincial assemblies, the CE order stated that the order of suspending the same on October 14, 1999, should now be read as: "The National Assembly, the Provincial Assemblies and Senate shall stand dissolved with immediate effect."

Chief Justice of Pakistan will be the acting president of Pakistan in the absence of the president, a departure from the recent pronouncements by the apex court holding that it was violative of the principle of trichotomy of power. "If the President, by reason of absence from Pakistan or any other cause, is unable to perform his functions, the Chief Justice of Pakistan is also absent from Pakistan, the most senior judge of the Supreme Court shall perform the functions of President until the President returns to Pakistan," Chief Executive Order No 3 of 2001 says.

The practice of holding the executive office by the judges was abandoned in 1996 after the Supreme Court decision in Judges Case. The first violation of the Judges Case took place when the military government appointed Justice Faqir Khokhar as Federal Law Secretary. Former President Mohammed Rafiq Tarar who "ceased" to hold office on Wednesday remained president for three years, six months and 20 days. He assumed office on Jan 1, 1998. He was the ninth head of the state of the country. He was the candidate of Pakistan Muslim. Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf called on the outgoing President Mohammed Rafiq Tarar at the Aiwan-i-Sadar on Wednesday morning, said an official announcement. The CE remained with the outgoing president for nearly an hour during which various issues of national importance came under discussion, it said. Gen Pervez Musharraf said that there were no words to express his gratitude to Rafiq Tarar whom he always held in the highest esteem. REFERENCE: Orders issued to give legal cover to action By Rafaqat Ali DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 23 June 2001 Issue : 07/25, Feb 7: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to change its earlier order of validating the military take-over on the basis of the doctrine of necessity. Dismissing the review petition filed by the PML through Wasim Sajjad, chairman of the suspended senate, the court held that the period of three years was granted to the military government after considering all the "relevant factors" and "practical realities". The government, which was asked by the apex court on Tuesday to come up with its election plan, "reaffirmed" its assurance of holding elections before Oct 12, 2002. Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, counsel for the federation, stated: "Under instructions from the competent authority, I reaffirm the assurances which have (already) been given."

He also referred to the chief executive's recent interview in which he was quoted as saying that the Supreme Court order, requiring restoration of elections within three years, would be adhered to. Under the Supreme Court judgment passed on May 12, the military government is required to complete the process of elections within three years, starting from Oct 12, 1999. In its 22-page short order on the review petition, the 11-man bench said: "We are firmly committed to the governance of the country by the people's representatives and we reiterate the definition of the term democracy to the effect that it is government of the people, by the people and for the people, and not by the army rule for an indefinite period."

The court held that it would not make any comment on the exile of former prime minister as the matter was sub judice. Similarly, it said, the matter relating to accountability under the National Accountability Bureau was also sub judice. The court held that the validation and legitimacy accorded to the present government was conditional and inter-linked with the holding of general elections to the National Assembly and provincial assembles and the Senate within the time-frame laid down by the Supreme Court, leading to the restoration of democratic institutions. The court further stated that there was no glaring or patent mistake floating on the surface in the judgment under review. "Nothing has been overlooked by the court, nor has it failed to consider any aspect of the attending matters."

Due to the situation prevailing on or before October 12, 1999, for which the Constitution provided no solution, the armed forces had to intervene to save the state from further chaos and to maintain peace and order, economic stability, justice, good governance as well as to safeguard the integrity and sovereignty of the country as dictated by the highest considerations of the state, necessity and welfare of the people, the court maintained. The court held that the petitioners could not be permitted to re-argue the case and seek reversal of conclusions earlier reached by the Supreme Court after the full application of mind.

It observed that no one could disagree with the opinion that Pakistan must have democracy, and any obstacles in respect of achieving that goal must be overcome. The bench held that when the country was faced with grave crisis, the constitutional maintenance demanded that the court should interpret the proclamation of the PCO in such a way as to authorize whatever power and measures were necessary to cope with the emergency. The court recalled that Khalid Anwar, who had argued the original petition of the PML, had rightly said that he would not request the court "to do the impossible." REFERENCE: SC verdict on military take-over stands; polls in 2002 Rafaqat Ali DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 10 February 2001 Issue : 07/06, March 1: The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Irshad Hasan Khan, on Wednesday observed that when the politicians are in power, they try to become dictators but when they are out of power, they become champions of the rule of law. Presiding over a 12-member bench seized of the seven petitions challenging the military takeover, the chief justice directed the attorney general to provide details of the expenditure on holding elections, including the expenses made by the candidates on their election campaigns. The Supreme Court announced that it would decide the issue of maintainability and merits of the case simultaneously. The chief justice said the court had entertained the petitions. The bench started regular hearing of the petitions on Wednesday. The court first took up the petition of Syed Zafar Ali Shah, suspended MNA of PML from Islamabad. The representative petition of PML would be taken next and Khalid Anwer would argue the case on behalf of the party.

Other petitions before the court are of Syed Imtiaz Hussain Bukhari, Challenging the PCO; Fazal Ellahi Siddiqui, challenging the PCO; Shahid Orakzai, seeking restoration of Senate, office of speakers and provincial assemblies; Al-Jehad Trust, seeking restoration of Constitution to the extent of judiciary; and Syed Iqbal Haider of MWM, seeking validation of PCO. The bench consisted of Justice Irshad Hasan Khan, Justice Mohammad Bashir Jehangiri, Justice Sheikh Ijaz Nisar, Justice Abdur Rehman Khan, Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad, Justice Chaudhry Mohammad Arif, Justice Munir A. Sheikh, Justice Rashid Aziz Khan, Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Qazi Mohammad Farooq and Justice Rana Bhagwandas. The chief justice made it clear at the outset that the counsels should try to be relevant and unnecessary repetition of arguments should be avoided. He said the whole work of the court was suspended due to the present case.

Chaudhry Farooq, the counsel of Mr Shah, said that on the last hearing the petitioner had apprehended that the judges of the court would be asked to take fresh oath under the PCO and his apprehensions proved to be true. He said the PCO (1) of 1999 and subsequent orders were unconstitutional, having no force of law. The chief justice asked the parties to avoid mud-slinging, and added that: "we will perform our function without intimidation." He observed that the bar and the bench were integral part of the chariot of justice. He said his effort was to save the system and referred to the decisions of the Chief Justices Committee. The counsel said: "Pakistan was a gift of our forefathers, but unfortunately the rule of law had been interrupted at regular intervals. In its total life, Pakistan had suffered military rule for 30 long years".

He said the government in its reply to the petitions had said that the elections of Feb 3, 1997, were farce. The elections in which PML obtained heavy mandate were monitored by the observers across the globe, he said, and added the armed forces were employed to supervize the elections. On the court's query, Barrister Khalid Anwar stated that 36 per cent of voters used their right of franchise in the 1997 elections. Chaudhry Farooq said if the government of Khawaja Nazimuddin would not have been dismissed, the fate of Pakistan would have been different. He said Pakistan was created with the force of vote and not through any military operation. "Both citizens and soldiers are subject to Constitution alike."

Referring to Article 6 of the Constitution, he said abrogating the Constitution was treachery with the country. When he stated that the respondents had not replied to the Politicians in power try to be dictators: CJ challenge he raised in the petition, the chief justice observed that the counsel was trying to be hyper technical. The CJ made it clear to the counsel that notice of the case to the chief of the army staff was there. The counsel said he was firm believer that the Kafir (infidel) could not be a friend of Muslim and Hindus being Kafir could not be trusted. When the counsel referred to a judgment from the Indian jurisdiction, the court asked him not to cite Indian judgments in the present case. When the counsel started reading an old judgment from Pakistani jurisdiction, the chief justice asked the counsel to first read the speech of the chief executive in which he had spelt out the reasons which forced him to come into power. The counsel was still reading the speech of Gen Musharraf when the court rose to assemble again on Thursday (March 2). Politicians in power try to be dictators, says CJ Bureau Report DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 4 March 2000 Issue : 06/10, Jan 5: The president of Supreme Court Bar Association, Abdul Haleem Pirzada, has said that the exile of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had staked the credibility of the judiciary, and time would come when this case would be reopened. Speaking at a press conference here on Friday, he said that the President had no legal power under Article 45 of the Constitution to send Nawaz Sharif into exile. This even amounted to jailbreak by the present government, he remarked. He said that Nawaz Sharif had been a convict in the plane hijacking case, moreover so many cases were pending in the courts. He questioned the validity of this action as in what capacity the government would answer the courts when these cases are heard? He said with this act the judicial system had lost its credibility, and once the people loose their faith in the system no one can stop them from resorting to unconstitutional and unlawful methods to achieve their rights. He said there was no clause in the Constitution, which could empower the government or the President to exile anybody to a foreign country, nor there was any precedence in Islamic Shariat. He termed the Provisional Constitutional Order an unlawful act of the government, and said that the decisions under the PCO was challengable. He said the judicial system had been under jeopardy, because the judges took a wrong turn by taking oath under the PCO. REFERENCE: Exile put judiciary's credibility at stake: SCBA president DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 06 January 2001 Issue : 07/01, April 25: President Mohammad Rafiq Tarar on Tuesday appointed five judges to the Supreme Court of Pakistan. With the appointment of these judges, the strength of the Supreme Court judges, i.e. 17, stands completed. The newly-appointed judges include Justice Mian Mohammad Ajmal, Chief Justice, Peshawar High Court; Justice Deedar Hussain Shah, Chief Justice, High Court of Sindh; Justice Javed Iqbal, Chief Justice, High Court of Balochistan; Justice Hamid Ali Mirza, judge, High Court of Sindh and Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, judge, High Court of Sindh. These judges have been appointed to the SC from the date they respectively take upon themselves the execution of their offices as such judges. Following are the names of the judges of the Supreme Court according to their seniority:

1. Justice Irshad Hassan Khan, Chief Justice of Pakistan,

2. Justice Mohammad Bashir Jehangiri,

3. Justice Sheikh Ijaz Nisar,

4. Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmed,

5. Justice Ch. Mohammad Arif,

6. Justice Munir A. Sheikh,

7. Justice Abdul Rehman Khan

8. Justice Rashid Aziz Khan,

9. Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqi,

10. Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry,

11. Justice Qazi Mohammad Farooq,

12. Justice Rana Bhagwan Das,

13. Justice Mian Mohammad Ajmal,

14. Justice Deedar Hussain Shah,

15. Justice Javed Iqbal,

16. Justice Hamid Ali Mirza,

17. Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar.-APP

REFERENCE: Supreme Court judges' strength completed DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending : 29 April 2000

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